Responding to Ed Miliband’s speech at the Labour Party Conference announcing policy position on business rates.

Edward Cooke, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, BCSC:

“It is positive to see the Labour Party acknowledging concerns that BCSC, among others, have raised about the negative impact the current business rates system is having on the retail industry, and subsequently on UK plc and our town centres.

“Labour’s proposed rates freeze will clearly help some smaller businesses, but ultimately what all political parties must realise is the system is no longer a sustainable way of collecting tax to pay for local services.

“The devil is in the detail; so although Ed Miliband’s acknowledgement today must be welcomed, our industry looks forward to working with key Labour Party figures on that detail as they prepare their manifesto for 2015.

“As the Lib Dem conference also raised the prospect of changes to the current system, we await the Conservative response next week with interest, since it is evident that business rates and their impact on the high street will play a key role in the 2015 General Election.”